Eliza Fletcher, a millionaire heiress, and mother of two, was abducted from her home during her morning run and later found dead with a headshot, as revealed in an autopsy report.
According to the autopsy report from the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis, Fletcher, who went missing and was found dead in early September, had a gunshot wound to the back of her skull and blunt-force injuries right leg. CBS affiliate WREG-TV said that test reports showed her body contained traces of fentanyl. However, it is unclear how long the narcotic had been present.
It was concluded from the autopsy that Fletcher died from “a single gunshot to the head” and that she also suffered from a broken jaw. Fletcher may not have been the victim of a sexual assault before her untimely demise.
On September 2 at around 4 a.m., Fletcher embarked on her regular morning run around the University of Memphis campus. Authorities said she was a few kilometers from home when they saw her jogging along Central Avenue.
Fletcher was running when she was ambushed by a man who had been waiting along the road for her to pass, according to security evidence. The man forced her into a dark-colored GMC Terrain and drove off. After an altercation, Fletcher was allegedly stuffed into the vehicle’s passenger seat. Surveillance footage shows the GMC Terrain with Fletcher inside, resting in a nearby parking lot for four minutes.
Fletcher’s husband contacted police in Memphis nearly four hours after she set out for her daily run. Local Memphis news outlets have picked up on the citywide watch issued for Fletcher by police. The FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were among the law enforcement agencies who helped with the probe.
The U.S. Marshals found the SUV (a GMC Terrain) linked to Fletcher’s kidnapping in a parking lot near the home of Cleotha Abston, who was considered a person of interest in the case, after searching for it all night. Abston was noticed by authorities, who, they claim, caught him during a subsequent attempted escape.
Officials added that Abston was initially charged with aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence after his arrest on September 4, one day before Fletcher’s body was discovered. On September 6, Abston returned to court to face the revised allegations against him, which now include first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping.
The judge declared that Abston would be held without bail on the kidnapping and murder accusations against him. Abston’s status in court as far as a plea is concerned is unknown at this time.
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